Updated: October 9, 2021 11:26:44 am
Pug-marks of tigers were found at various places during the search for a suspected man-eater in the forest areas of Nilgiris district. But, there was no trace of those of the man-eating tiger coded T-23, chief wildlife warden Dr Shekhar Kumar Neeraj said.
Leading a team into the forests of Gudalur, he said the T-23 might be roaming about but has not moved far away and added that the search was continuing.
The T-23 killed four people and over 20 head of cattle in recent days. Villagers on the forest fringes fear for their lives due to the suspected man-eater on the prowl. Tamed elephants and sniffer dogs have been use to trace T-23 but to no avail. Camera and traps have also been set up to capture the elusive big cat.
The issue has grabbed headlines and animal activists have said at no cost should the tiger be shot down. Forest officials have clarified that they were only trying to trap it and do not intend to kill the animal. With the Madras High Court directing to catch the tiger and not to kill it, four special teams are working to tranquilise the animal, with the help of veterinarians and medical teams.
As there was no trace of the tiger, the strategy was to camp on tall trees, based on the earlier movement recorded in the cameras, with medical team sitting so that they can tranquilise immediately.
To lure the tiger, cows were tied so that veterinarians can use the dart to tranquilise it, Forest Department sources had said. The department appealed to the people not to venture out particularly in the dark hours.
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